BMW art cars debuted today, using artificial intelligence (AI) software to generate new works of art. In conjunction with Frieze New York, the fair takes place in Manhattan from May 5 – 9, 2021.
Frieze New York has works of art from over 60 galleries, mainly located in New York. A viewing room with over 160 exhibitors runs through May 14, bringing together galleries worldwide, and audiences who can’t travel.
“The Ultimate AI Masterpiece”, is what they’re calling the virtual installation of BMW art cars, created by technologist Nathan Shipley of BMW’s ad agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, a patron of the arts and founder of artDrunk.
Using NVIDIA’s StyleGAN AI, they cross-referenced over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years. The question is whether it’s plagiarism no matter what fraction of a notable work of art you’ve used, or is it considered the equivalent of sampling, and therefore okay?
Besides culling centuries of art, the pair took what artists had produced for BMW previously. If there’s any of Roy Lichtenstein’s, or Andy Warhol’s, or Alexander Calder’s work, you won’t find it. AI whipped up new works, and it’s questionable if they’re ‘art’ at all.
This mash-up is a lot like taking Pavarotti, mixing it with Kid Rock, throwing in Kiss, and adding Taylor Swift.
The big question is what you think of AI-induced results projected on to a BMW 8 series Gran Coupe.
BMW tried something different with limited attendance. Still, ugly is ugly, and that’s what they’ve served up this time around.